Wednesday 18 September 2019

Body in car boot was a mum of two

Gardai await post mortem result

GRIM: State pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy walks away after examining the body in the boot
GRIM: State pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy walks away after examining the body in the boot

BRENDAN FURLONG and DON LAVERY

GARDAI were last night awaiting the result of a post-mortem examination on the body of a young woman found dead in the boot of a burning car outside Wexford town to determine the cause of her death and to decide whether to launch a murder inquiry.

They are also investigating whether the young woman, named locally as Rebecca French, 30, from Wexford town, was assaulted or died from a drug overdose and whether she was dead when she was put into the boot.

Four men and two women were arrested by gardai as officers tried to piece together the bizarre circumstances in the case. The car -- a blue, 11-year-old Opel Corsa -- was spotted in flames by passers-by in the Ballindinas area at about 4.20pm on Friday.

Fire officers and gardai arrived at the scene and the fire was quickly brought under control. The emergency services then discovered the body in the boot.

The area was immediately sealed off and forensic officers brought in.

"One of those arrested was observed leaving the scene of the burning car. This individual is well known to local gardai and is being questioned in relation to events leading to the death of the woman," a garda source confirmed.

The body of Ms French, a mother of two who lived at Mount Prospect, Wexford, remained overnight at the scene until the arrival of State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy yesterday morning.

Gardai forensic officers carried out a full examination of the burnt-out car and surrounding area. Later officers visited a house on the upmarket Ard na Dara estate on the Clonard Rd, just outside the town. Gardai are investigating the theory that the car became engulfed in flames having crashed on the back road and may not have been set alight.

"We are also investigating to see if the girl overdosed or may have been physically assaulted before being put in the boot of the car.

"We will have to await a post mortem to ascertain if she was still alive when put in the car boot. At this stage we just don't know if she was alive or was dead, or if they were taking her away to dump her in a secluded area.

Chief Supt John Roche said that the six people are still been questioned in relation to the incident.

The young woman is the daughter of George and Nancy French of Maudlintown, Wexford. Her father is dead and she has one sister Rachel. She is the mother of two children, aged 12 years and 7 years.

Wexford town has been stunned at the tragedy, with locals saying this was the first time something like this had happened in the county.

One local said: "I'm sure people who lived in the vicinity of the area must be in a state of shock. We have known of something of a peculiar set-up relating to this house, with people coming and going all of the time. It was well known to gardai," he said.

Witnesses or anyone with information is asked to contact the gardai in Wexford at 053-9165200 or the Garda Confidential 1800-666111.

Sunday Independent

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